More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pre IHSW, Gridding & More

The January IHSW is here!  That's the International Hermit and Stitch Weekend!  The idea is that when and if you can from Friday-Monday you ignore the world and stitch your little heart out and get a serious case of stitcher's butt.  You can read all about it here and sign up for the January edition here.



So here is Enchantment of Winter BEFORE the IHSW, its seen a little needle time but not as much as I'd like.  Its been a very busy week for me, lots going on.  As I type this I've spent my evening getting ready as tomorrow evening I'm joining up with about 18 other stitchers for a weekend away in a quiet country B&B to stitch our little hearts out!  Hopefully I'll make some great progress on EOW, if I don't spend too much time chatting and visiting!  Of course I have my camera all packed, so I will share with you here after the weekend.


On my busier nights when I was either tired or didn't have much time to stitch I pulled out Polar Friends - Night and made a little progress on that too.

I've received several comments asking about the gridding many of you saw in one of my earlier posts this month.  I love e-mailing my commenters back when the comment warrants an answer but so many of you don't have an e-mail address linked to your profile!  I have my comments e-mailed to me and if you have an e-mail address linked to your profile when you hit reply, it pops in your e-mail address and whoila I can send a personal note to you!


So here's the information... I gridded my Ink Circles Seasonal Mandalas after so many mis-counts and encounters with those damned frogs!  There was no specific distances between my stitches, I just did a running/basting stitch, making sure that each vertical or horizontal line was exactly 10 stitches apart.  I wanted to mimic the darker grid lines on the chart that mark out 10x10 blocks of stitches.


Most of you were curious about the thread I used because I called it my "special gridding thread" (or something along those lines).  Really it isn't special, nor is it specifically for girdding but it is THE perfect thread!  I received a spool of this years ago from another stitcher.  Its by Sulky and its their Silver Metallic thread.  This is a thin, flat, ribbon-like metallic thread you'd probably find it in quilting stores.  The main reason I like to use this compared to a conventional thread or cotton floss is that when you are cross stitching if you happen to leave your grid in as you're stitching you won't be able to pierce the gridding thread with your needle as you stitch... unless you happen to use a sharp one!  This makes removing the gridding thread later on SOOO much easier.  It usually just slides right out.  I haven't had to grid often in the past but sometimes I've used it to put in a basting line down the left hand side of a sampler so that I know the beginning of my rows match up.  Its also been great for gridding blocks for Round Robins for the participants to stitch in.

So, there you've got it... one of my little stitching secrets!

Non-Stitchy Stuff

The snowploughs rolling out to hit the highways

The weather has been just brutal lately!  The temperature has been up and down like a yo-yo its either -5c or colder than -20c.  When its not brutally cold, its either snowing like its the end of the world, or we're having freezing rain.  I've had to drive to/from work in really bad weather twice in the last two weeks.  Its very stressful!  On Tuesday night we had rain, which apparently froze on contact.  To get in my car the next morning, we had to pry the door open with a putty knife!  After starting the car and letting it run with the defrost on at full blast for over 20 minutes... I still had to spend over 45 minutes chipping ice off of my car and windows so that I could safely drive!  If another person who lives in a warm climate that doesn't have winter... and I mean TRUE winter with sub-zero temperatures, snow and freezing rain says they LOVE winter, think snow is so PRETTY and would love a WHITE Christmas I'm going to slap them up side the head!  When you live with winter the way us folk in norther climes I can tell you that winter can be quite miserable, and downright dangerous, you stop seeing the pretty very quickly!

I was also asked if I'm still going to Weight Watchers.  Yes I am, I think I will forever be going to Weight Watchers, just to maintain my goal weight takes a lot of work and vigilance on my part.  Sadly I'm not one of those people who can eat what they want and not exercise.  If I don't live by the 80/20 rule and exercise on average 4-5 times a week I WILL gain weight!

What do I mean by the 80/20 rule?  Be good 80% of the time and just do your best 20% of the time.  There are times, moments, events that still trigger bad choices in anyone who has ever been overweight.  No one can be perfect, and imagining that you can be perfect and perfectly loose weight turns your journey into an incredibly stressful one.  Its all about checks and balances, if you know you're going out for a nice dinner on Friday you can balance that out by eating right and moving more a couple of days prior to and after that dinner out.  I also make a point of making sure all of my other meals are low point and earn some activity points.


The last week and a half have been very tough for me.  I've made a lot of bad choices (chocolate and lots of it), salted peanuts, crackers, lots of very yummy things.  Oh and a devine slice of a "chocolate bomb" when we went out for dinner on Saturday to celebrate my Mum's birthday (which it was -25c without the windchill that was fun to be out and about in).  I was very shocked when I weighed in at my WW meeting on Wednesday and the receptionist told me I had lost this week!  Wow!  So I lost 1 lb!  I started going back to WW the previous week and between my last weigh in at the very beginning of December to the second week in January I put on 3lbs... it could of been worse.  So I'm back on the road to getting back to goal 9lbs to go.

33 comments:

Cole said...

Wow, Enchantment is gorgeous! Have fun at your stitchy weekend away!

valerie said...

I am in awe every time I see your Enchantment of Winter! It's gorgeous!

I think I'm one of those people who drive you nuts about the weather. I wouldn't want to live in it and I think it would be neat if it snowed but I wouldn't know what to do and would freeze my heiney off especially since I thinkk 40F is freezing!

Good for you for keeping on track with WW. I am starting my journey to lose 10-15 pounds. I say I will every year and never do but I mean it this time!

Lesleyanne said...

Enchantment is looking great. Have a lovely weekend. Well done on the weight loss.

Ruth said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend is planned and I can't wait to see the pics and lots done on EOW. Polar days is looking cute, its turning out to be a lovely stitch. On the winter front, here in Ireland we don't get winter, not your ture sense of it, we get a slightly colder more damper version of what our Autumn is lol, the last two winters we did get up to -16 temps and the country, yes the whole country ground to a halt as we are not a nation equipped to deal with it so I don't envy you one little bit. Stay warm and stay safe.

Kate said...

Thanks for the tips - I am always interested to hear about people methods when preparing to stitch. I cant wait to see your progress either and have a wonderful weekend.

Christine said...

Enjoy your weekend, I'm looking forward to seeing how much EoW grows

Julie said...

Have a lovely weekend. Maybe all that ice scraping used u p lots of calories, a good workout!

cucki said...

have a lovely weekend deary..i am so much looking forward to see your progress..
hugs xxx

Mouse said...

ohhhh wow enchantment is nearly there .. and looks fabulous .... well you will have to slap me ...lol coz I love it when snow looks pretty but I do really sympathize with any one who has to deal with it .... we had it really bad over here last winter.... and I love going out in it when it first is down but I don't like it after that ....
good news on your weight goal .. I am like you I only have to look at something yummy and put weight on ... :(
take care and enjoy your retreat and thanks for the info on your basting thread :)
love mouse xxxx

Felicity said...

Enchantment of Winter is lovely, Dani.

Congratulations that you still lost weight this week. Just don't try the same techniques too often. LOL

Lenne said...

Enchantment is absolutely stunning- looking forward to reading more of your blog posts :)

Chris said...

Have a great weekend Dani! It sounds like you will get a lot of stitching done.
Congratulations on the continued weight loss :)

Gabi said...

Enchantment is looking fantastic. And your little Eskimo is so very cute.
Isn't that thread the one and only for gridding? I have the same one in green, and in my opinion it's the only one you won't pinch with a needle.
Crossing fingers that you reach your goal weight soon.

riona said...

yay! Looking at a finish soon for Enchantment of Winter ... it's spectacular. As to winter, I am with you. Though NYC suburb winters must seem mild by comparison to yours, they seem quite cold enough and snowy, icy and dangerous to me.After some unseasonably warm temps in December and early January, we are expecting our first serious storm of the winter [the freaky Halloween storm came through in the Fall, so it was an aberration and doesn't count]. Three to five inches of snow [not so bad] but followed by freezing rain and sleet [really horrid for driving]. And in an urban pollution area, snow might remain pretty for approximately 15 seconds and then it becomes a down right nuisance, if not an actual hazard.

lesli said...

Looking forward to seeing your progress this IHSW! This is my first time participating in the hermit weekend, so I'm excited!
Enchantement is turning out so lovely! I just love the purple and gold together, so royal!
I've seen posts about the Sulky metallic thread for gridding, I think I might have to try it out on my next project. I've been using some thread I found that has a waxy covering, so it's worked well to not be pierced either, but that metallic thread looks so much easier.
Good luck with your 9lbs! I've just lost about 32 pounds and trying to lose more!! :)
-lesli

Susan said...

Very envious of your weekend plans! Have a great time and I hope you get a lot of stitching done. If not, at least you'll have a great time. I love Sliver thread! I use the clear one to bead with, it blends in with the fabric and you literally can't see it. I've used the irridescent one to give a little extra sparkle to my beaded projects too. Winter? I spent 20+ years in New Hampshire and while I got really irritated by it sometimes, I really truely enjoyed it. No pressure to do the yard work, too cold or dark too early to be forced outside - I guess it appealed to my inner hermit. No, I hated the freezing rain and fear of freezing pipes, etc. but the other more than made up for it. Congratulations on sticking with WW. I've thought about trying it, but just haven't gotten myself in gear

geeky Heather said...

Oh I would never pretend I could ever endure a "real" Winter, even with the reward of pretty snow! I was born in a snowstorm in Michigan and we moved south when I was three. I never want to go back!!

Catherine's Sewing Corner said...

Enjoy your stitching this weekend and look forward to seeing your progress on it. I really love all the colours in this one.
x catherine

Joysze said...

Holy moly, that's cold, Dani!!!

Love Enchantment, and Polar Friends looks so cute! I can't wait to see more of that.

Enjoy your weekend. Don't forget to do a few stitches in the corner since you're hermiting. I told Bonnie that's what she should do. ROFL! If anyone asks why you're being punish, just tell them you have to hermit for a couple of seconds. LOL!!!!

Kathy A. said...

Have fun Dani and say hi to everyone for me!!!! Sending big hugs

Jackie said...

A warm and cozy weekend in a B&B with stitchy friends sounds wonderful!

Your weather does not sound fun at all. Taking almost an hour to get your car in condition just so you can see to drive on very dangerous roads would drive me batty.

Sandra said...

Enchantment looks amazing! Have a wonderful weekend with your stitching friends. Thanks for the link to IHSW, just joined, and I can see my Sunday involving a lot of stitching!

Rachael G said...

Good luck with your stitching!!
I am off to a stitchy group tomorrow to stitch all day!!

Sally said...

Oh wow that is cold! I have to admit I have hated winter so far over here as we've had hardly any frosts and no snow and it's just not winter without some good hard frosts and a bit of snow! Last Winter was a good one for snow etc as was the winter before.

Your Enchantment is looking amazing. Doesn't look like you have too far to go now. Polar Friends is so cute!

ollie1976 said...

congrats on the 1 pound loss!
-Jen

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

I don't want you to finish Enchantment, I love looking at it so much!
You must make the finished piece a permanent fixture on your blog sidebars!

Brigitte said...

I can hear you on the winter. And I know what you are talking about. We also usually have winter here, real winter, I mean. This year it has been mild - so far because it's not over yet. I *hate* driving on icy and snowy roads but have to do it if I want to get to work. The only way I love winter and ice and snow is when it's stitched, lol.

Shelleen said...

Enchantment of Winter is gorgeous! those colors are vibrant and lovely.

Sandra said...

Enchantment looks amazing, good work! I have to say, I really don't envy you the cold weather, I can't imagine it being so cold it takes an hour just to defrost the car enough to get in it!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for all the replies Dani ! Take care and happy stitching, Ann

Patches said...

Gorgeous.

Melanie said...

Enchantment looks amazing!
You'll get back to goal weight soon enough I'm sure. You can do it! :)

Suzanne said...

Sorry to hear about your weather, I can't imagine what it would be like to live with that kind of winter. We have been having some very unseasonable wet weather and I really can't remember the last sunny day we had. Everything is damp and going moudly or growing some type of fungus.

Enchantment is looking great! I hope you had a great weekend away.